Where did you say?

Where did you say??? No mistake. I didn’t ask, What did you say? No, my question is a twist on what every real estate agent knows, “It’s location, location, location!”

Recently, in the mysterious ways of “smart” phones, the keyboard from my phone suddenly disappeared. At first I was frantic—how was I to text??? Then I discovered that by tapping the little microphone icon, I could speak and the phone would transcribe what I said into text(!) No finger power involved.

It’s a wonderful feature, but with that amazing technology comes a definite need to enunciate clearly. Speaking into the face of the phone, I sent a message to my daughter that I would be having two routine tests as an outpatient. The magical mike interpreted it as two chests.

Firefly Books. Pictures supplied by The Science Photo Library

While that might be an uplifting thought, my tests had nothing to do with that part of my body.

So I repeated my message, this time speaking very slowly and very distinctly.


One lesson learned, but maybe actually two. Because while speaking into a microphone icon is a newer place or way to communicate, the more common place is still a keyboard.  The place where your fingers do your talking.   But whichever you use–Make sure the words you choose are ones that clearly convey your intended message with the least amount of misunderstanding possible.

I join the millions of high school teachers and parents who have told their captive audiences (including oldest daughters):

Simulated image of light bent around a supermassive black hole. (Alain Riazuelo) UC Berkley Astronomy

“Be careful what you say on social media.

The ethernet is like a black hole. What goes in, NEVER comes out.”


Another bit of sage advice comes, as quoted above, from real estate professionals. It’s all about location. Where you choose to broadcast your opinions matters hugely. Some of our elected and appointed officials in Washington, D.C. seem to have learned that lesson the hard way.

Originally broadcasting referred to an agricultural or landscaping process—sowing seeds with the help of a broadcast seeder. That implement makes it possible to quickly sow seeds into a large area of ground.

Today social media is the most democratic form of broadcasting. Anyone with an electronic device can cast opinions and ideas onto an almost limitless field of potential viewers.

It’s important to be aware that neither a Facebook nor a Twitter follower—or a corporate reader—can hear your intended tone to know if you are kidding or being just a little sarcastic or hopefully sounding civil. They only have the words they can see, and possibly remember!

Point of blog: Before you say something in a text or on social media, be sure you’ve thought through what you’ve written before you hit “send.”

Just saying…